openvt(1) — Linux manual page


OPENVT(1)                General Commands Manual               OPENVT(1)

NAME         top

       openvt - start a program on a new virtual terminal (VT).

SYNOPSIS         top

       openvt [-c vtnumber] [OPTIONS] [--] command

DESCRIPTION         top

       openvt will find the first available VT, and run on it the given
       command with the given command options , standard input, output
       and error are directed to that terminal. The current search path
       ($PATH) is used to find the requested command. If no command is
       specified then the environment variable $SHELL is used.

       -c, --console=VTNUMBER
              Use the given VT number and not the first available. Note
              you must have write access to the supplied VT for this to

       -f, --force
              Force opening a VT without checking whether it is already
              in use.

       -e, --exec
              Directly execute the given command, without forking.  This
              option is meant for use in /etc/inittab.

       -s, --switch
              Switch to the new VT when starting the command. The VT of
              the new command will be made the new current VT.

       -u, --user
              Figure out the owner of the current VT, and run login as
              that user.  Suitable to be called by init. Shouldn't be
              used with -c or -l.

       -l, --login
              Make the command a login shell. A - is prepended to the
              name of the command to be executed.

       -v, --verbose
              Be a bit more verbose.

       -w, --wait
              wait for command to complete. If -w and -s are used
              together then openvt will switch back to the controlling
              terminal when the command completes.

       -V, --version
              print program version and exit.

       -h, --help
              show this text and exit.

       --     end of options to openvt.

NOTE         top

       If openvt is compiled with a getopt_long() and you wish to set
       options to the command to be run, then you must supply the end of
       options -- flag before the command.

EXAMPLES         top

       openvt can be used to start a shell on the next free VT, by using
       the command:

       openvt bash

       To start the shell as a login shell, use:

       openvt -l bash

       To get a long listing you must supply the -- separator:

       openvt -- ls -l

HISTORY         top

       Earlier, openvt was called open.  It was written by Jon Tombs
       <> or <>.  The -w idea is from

SEE ALSO         top

       chvt(1), doshell(8), login(1)

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the kbd (Linux keyboard tools) project.
       Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this
       manual page, send it to  This page was
       obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2023-06-23.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2023-06-23.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

kbd                            19 Jul 1996                     OPENVT(1)

Pages that refer to this page: deallocvt(1)